Globalization, migration health, and educational preparation for transnational medical encounters

Global Health. 2006 Jan 30:2:2. doi: 10.1186/1744-8603-2-2.


Unprecedented migration, a core dimension of contemporary globalization, challenges population health. In a world of increasing human mobility, many health outcomes are shaped by transnational interactions among care providers and care recipients who meet in settings where nationality/ethnic match is not an option. This review article explores the value of transnational competence (TC) education as preparation for ethnically and socially discordant clinical encounters. The relevance of TC's five core skill domains (analytic, emotional, creative, communicative, and functional) for migration health and the medical-school curriculum is elaborated. A pedagogical approach that prepares for the transnational health-care consultation is presented, with a focus on clinical-clerkship learning experiences. Educational preparation for contemporary medical encounters needs to include a comprehensive set of patient-focused interpersonal skills, be adaptable to a wide variety of service users and global practice sites, and possess utility in addressing both the quality of patient care and socio-political constraints on migration health.